An Uber driver is under scrutiny for having been jailed previously for rape. Yadav was incarcerated for two years in 2011 for an incident where he picked up a woman passenger from Gurgaon and took her to a secluded spot where he raped her. Three years later, Yadav is being accused again of brutally raping a woman passenger under similar circumstances.
This development will only serve to create more problems for the taxi company, who is under fire for allegedly not doing background checks or other verification for their drivers. Authorities in New Delhi commented that the required police verification would have prevented the alleged crime from happening.
The majority of drivers in India that contract with Uber work for other cab companies. The drivers are responsible for bringing their license and other documents to Uber for verification. One driver said they were also provided with coaching on how to talk to customers. However, “some drivers are less polite than others.”
Uber made a statement, saying that it uses the local transportation companies to contract their drivers, and requires them to have all documents. A drivers license and commercial insurance are both required for employment.
The company also stated that it will work with the local government to apprehend the Uber driver was was previously jailed for rape, and currently being accused of the same crime. They have already provided the local authorities with the driver’s personal details like his name, age and bank details. They were also able to provide his registration and driver permit.
According to New Delhi police, the driver is in custody. Reportedly the police are also considering taking action against Uber. Madhur Verma, the deputy commissioner or the Delhi police, commented that every violation will be investigated and they intend to go after the taxi service legally.
The online taxi company maintains that safety is their first priority and they claim to be willing to work within the community to provide a safe transportation alternative, especially for women. In the US, the ride-sharing service employs a screening process, however some drivers have commented that those procedures are not always a priority.
Uber has seen other problems in India with the Reserve Bank of India. They allegedly forced Uber to change its digital payment method so that passengers are required to pay using an electronic wallet. In doing so, they have detracted from the convenience of the service.
Many drivers are uncertain about the future of their employment. Some drivers own their vehicles, while others contract from transportation companies. The company’s reputation for safety is under fire which could lead to less business for drivers who need the work.
A change in payment method hardly seems like the largest problem the online taxi service has at the moment. When an Uber driver, who had been jailed previously for committing rape, has committed the same crime with similar circumstances, there is a much bigger picture with Uber that needs to be addressed. Whether they want to label it a safety issue, or claiming Uber is in violation of not adhering to required regulations, something needs to be done to ensure the continued safety of their passengers.
By Kerri Cushna
Photo by Peter Morgan – Flickr License